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4G Paves a New Path for Broadcasting

With telecom service providers becoming aggressive with 4G services, it could well mean a transition for the broadcasting industry. This technology can well evolve beyond the mobile. It has the capability for efficient delivery of mass media content, with opportunities far beyond just venues; the evolution makes it dynamic and more useful – on-demand, more scalable, and more applications; small cells enhance venue casting, with opportunity for unlicensed spectrum; and is a candidate for next-generation converged terrestrial TV services. Mobile phone broadcasting was used extensively by Indian journalists recently at Rio Olympics and then at the US Open Tennis Championships held in New York.

The Indian media and entertainment industry, valued at Rs. 123,500 crore in 2015, and expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.98 percent from 2016-2018, is facing key challenges from a tax perspective, which need to be addressed for it to reach its potential of Rs. 650,000 crore by 2025.

Some major issues have been amplified in Deloitte’s recent report, Indian Tax Landscape. These include improving the effective tax rate, managing tax risks, implications for cross-border transactions, cash-blockage on account of high withholding tax rate, benchmarking of intellectual property and content transactions, and multiplicity of indirect taxes.

The introduction of GST regime may be able to address some of these issues. Many transactions where the input taxes paid are not available as credit and are regarded as tax cost; and transactions attracting dual tax levies, because of the peculiar federal structure of indirect taxes in India, would come under its purview.

Others as base erosion and profit shifting, place of effective management and income computation, and disclosure standards would need to be addressed on a priority basis.

We look forward to IBC 2016 being held from September 9 to 13, 2016 at Amsterdam. The leading vendors have announced grand plans to introduce solutions designed to make it easier for broadcasters to create, control, and connect content wherever, however, and whenever it is consumed. With an increasing audience now viewing on websites, smartphone apps, and social media portals, vendors have been busy with product offerings and innovations, and IBC provides the perfect platform.

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